Black River has gotten approval from Cabinet to be designated a protected area under the National Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act (1991), Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams disclosed at a post-Cabinet press conference at Jamaica House recently.
According to Williams, the designation is intended to preserve the ecosystem of Black River, which includes land and sea space, which currently has 15 per cent marine and 18 per cent terrestrial ecosystem protection under the law.
“The designation of the proposed Black River protected area is intended to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the area including the swamp, forest, mangroves, beaches, seagrass belts and reefs, which provide habitat for wildlife and support sustainable livelihoods.
“By designating the Black River protected area, Jamaica would meet some of its national and international commitments concerning the protection of island water, marine and terrestrial ecosystem and heritage sites,” Williams said.
The Chief Parliamentary Council will now draft the instructions for the preparation of the order.
Meanwhile, Williams said Cabinet also approved the sale of a $1.8 billion sale of 457.07 acres of land in Llandovery, St Ann owned by the National Insurance Fund (NIF) to the National Housing Trust.
According to Williams, the sale is part of the NIF’s effort to dispose of property as part of its thrust to realign the real estate portfolio and rid the entity of underperforming and non-income generating assets.
She said the NHT would be using the property to develop approximately 2,000 housing solutions targeted to hotel workers.